So much to say, but I don’t know how to say it. My wife and I have both been in low moods lately. I didn’t ovulate this month, and I can feel it emotionally. My wife struggles with anxiety and has been feeling a lot of it around the idea of having baby #2. I’ve felt tugged around on her rollercoaster of wanting and not wanting another child. I open my heart for the possibility of another baby and then I’m asked to not get excited about it because we might not be able to go through with this. My wife says she needs more time, but I know this about her: she will delay big life changes indefinitely while focusing on all the negative “what ifs,” and my role in our relationship is to focus on the positive and push us into the big change. My wife was nervous and not excited about our first pregnancy until literally the moment Avery was born (it led to me feeling alone in my pregnancy and not wanting to talk about my excitement with my partner. That sucked). But now she has zero regrets and can’t imagine life without our one perfect child. The same thing will happen with #2. It’s a delicate balance we have – the pusher forward and the puller backward. It’s easy to see it as a conflict, or like we just want different things out of life, but it’s actually just how we function together as a couple. She reins me in so we don’t have 100 chickens and I help her loosen up so we take a chance on 4 chickens (which she now loves and appreciates). The chicken thing is a weird example but it’s a real one!
Anyway, the tough thing is, there is no compromise on having a second child. You either do or you don’t. As my wife pulls back, my heart grieves the place it made for this future child. As my wife gears up and wants that child again, my heart re-opens. It’s a painful cycle even though the child in question only exists in my imagination, my hopes and my dreams.
So I’ve been low lately. I’ve been trying not to resent my wife for pulling back, and she has been trying not to resent me for pushing forward. We’re trying to give each other a blank slate and move forward on the same page. Marriage is a lot of work, sometimes. I know it’s worth it, for us at least, but I’m tired right now.